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  • Building a better Bel Canto

    Well, arguing in another thread about cost vs. performance vs. aesthetics and that sort of thing, I figured I'd quickly work out how much a good Bel Canto monoblock pair competitor would cost.

    2x TA3020 v3c, each bridged (with all upgrades) - About $300

    2x 800VA 40V+40V Avel transformers for power - About $210 [510]

    2x Soft-Start modules from the same website above - $40 [550]

    2x Dayton RCA jacks - About $15 [565]

    2x Fully insulated binding posts - $40 [605]

    Switches, hook-up wire, fuse holder, fuses, LEDs, cabinet feet - What, $20? This stuff is probably just lying around .. [625]

    2x IEC jack - $4 [629]

    Custom enclosures, fabricated by a local shop or a talented friend - $150 [779]

    "Whoops, forgot something" costs - $21 [800]

    What? I like even numbers. Someone estimated 1/10th the cost - and I'm using some premium parts, just to make sure everything's even. He was pretty close. The Bel Cantos are 7.5x the cost!

    Keep in mind this setup should perform very nearly the same (1200 w into a 4 ohm load), if not better, and you get the satisfaction of having 30lbs or so of amplification! Plus if you're not a crazy person you'd have 4 channels of extremely powerful, 2 ohm stable power - we're talking 600w/ch.

    I'll be building some (much less fancy) versions of the above soon, and I'm going to mount everything on glass and copper. It should be pretty neat.
    I am trolling you.

  • #2
    Re: Building a better Bel Canto

    If you really want an upgrade try substituting the Ice modules for UcD. :eek:

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Building a better Bel Canto

      From the stereophile porno pics it looks like a switched PS in the Bel Cantos. So, to be fair, if its a clone we're after, you'll need to throw in a switched PS, also available on the same site as the amp module. so the total cost is closer to 1K.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Building a better Bel Canto

        While we're picking the design apart, you need better transformers. The amp ratings on link are for either 50v or 60v. The trafo's listed are 40v. Need more beef.
        I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.
        OS MTMs http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=220388
        Swope TM http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=221818
        Econowave and Audio Nirvana AN10 fullrange http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=216841
        Imperial Russian Stouts http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...=1#post1840444
        LECBOS. http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...ghlight=lecbos

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Building a better Bel Canto

          Originally posted by fastbike1 View Post
          While we're picking the design apart, you need better transformers. The amp ratings on link are for either 50v or 60v. The trafo's listed are 40v. Need more beef.
          if it's saying +/- 50 or 60 VDC, then the 40 volt secondaries should be correct. you multiply your secondaries voltage by 1.4 to get your DC rail voltage. the decription ("supply voltage") is a little vague though, not indicating whether that means supply voltage to the board (AC), or supply voltage to the chip (DC)

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          • #6
            Re: Building a better Bel Canto

            so my therapist was actually wrong, i am sane?
            THOMAS BROWN aka "STINKY"

            I've got an idea - an idea so smart that my head would explode if I even began to know what I'm talking about. - Peter Griffin

            I DON'T CARE WHAT KIND OF MUSIC YOU LISTEN TO, OR LIKE.
            SHUT UP, PUT DOWN THE WALLS OF PRETENSION FOR 1 SECOND AND JUST LISTEN TO THE SONGS
            - SCOTT IAN

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            • #7
              Re: Building a better Bel Canto

              True enough. I took it to be supply to the board. May actually (probably) be rail voltage. If so, I apologize.

              Originally posted by absolootbs View Post
              if it's saying +/- 50 or 60 VDC, then the 40 volt secondaries should be correct. you multiply your secondaries voltage by 1.4 to get your DC rail voltage. the decription ("supply voltage") is a little vague though, not indicating whether that means supply voltage to the board (AC), or supply voltage to the chip (DC)
              I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.
              OS MTMs http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=220388
              Swope TM http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=221818
              Econowave and Audio Nirvana AN10 fullrange http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=216841
              Imperial Russian Stouts http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...=1#post1840444
              LECBOS. http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...ghlight=lecbos

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Building a better Bel Canto

                I was going to use the SMPS, but the biggest one only allows for 750w continuous. It likely wouldn't be a problem, but I think I still have a thing for a massive chunk of copper ;p

                And yes, 40 x 1.4 = 56. It's better to keep voltage on the lower side if you're going to run silly impedance loads. I'd probably run 35V secondaries if I could find them at an 800VA rating. Then you could put anything on there, even impedance-disabled Thiels.
                I am trolling you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Building a better Bel Canto

                  Originally posted by dukeofdorkdom View Post
                  From the stereophile porno pics it looks like a switched PS in the Bel Cantos. So, to be fair, if its a clone we're after, you'll need to throw in a switched PS, also available on the same site as the amp module. so the total cost is closer to 1K.
                  The type of SMPS listed on the site that accompanies the module is a non-regulated type, and simply a lightweight alternative to a large toroid. If the Bel Cantos actually use regulated supplies that's a different story. Otherwise, there's no advantage to using an open loop resonant SMPS over a toroid. The price is right, and would actually save money compared to the toroid.
                  R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio
                  Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51

                  95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong
                  "Gravitational systems are the ashes of prior electrical systems.". - Hannes Alfven, Nobel Laureate, Plasma physicist.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Building a better Bel Canto

                    Originally posted by MSaturn View Post
                    I was going to use the SMPS, but the biggest one only allows for 750w continuous. It likely wouldn't be a problem, but I think I still have a thing for a massive chunk of copper ;p

                    And yes, 40 x 1.4 = 56. It's better to keep voltage on the lower side if you're going to run silly impedance loads. I'd probably run 35V secondaries if I could find them at an 800VA rating. Then you could put anything on there, even impedance-disabled Thiels.
                    Unless you're using these for SUB duty, the wide bandwidth usage inherent in music will limit the 1200W amp to more like 250WRMS during music without clipping, and that's for music with low peak to average ratio. High quality, high dynamic range recordings will probably require no more than 120WRMS or less. A 500VA transformer would be WAY MORE than enough.
                    R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio
                    Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51

                    95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong
                    "Gravitational systems are the ashes of prior electrical systems.". - Hannes Alfven, Nobel Laureate, Plasma physicist.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Building a better Bel Canto

                      Well, I am going for "totally overbuilt," here. The kind of amp even a moron couldn't force into protect.

                      Point being, even then, the price is way lower.
                      I am trolling you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Building a better Bel Canto

                        Any reason you're going with Tripath over Class-D?
                        R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio
                        Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51

                        95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong
                        "Gravitational systems are the ashes of prior electrical systems.". - Hannes Alfven, Nobel Laureate, Plasma physicist.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Building a better Bel Canto

                          Originally posted by MSaturn View Post
                          Well, I am going for "totally overbuilt," here. The kind of amp even a moron couldn't force into protect.

                          Point being, even then, the price is way lower.
                          I sure hope you consider documenting your build, so those of us with little experience with amp builds can learn from your experience. It would help with pics on where to put what and how.

                          Thanks,

                          Darren

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Building a better Bel Canto

                            Pete: There's not much information available on that model. I like information.

                            EDIT: nm, found info on the IR website. Looks like a good design. It would do for this application, but the price difference isn't really that great.

                            And once I get around to building my amps, I'll document it, though the process is ridiculously easy nowadays (I am not really an expert.)

                            For reference, I'll be using the TDA8950 chipset and this transformer. A lot more reasonable - and about $400 for four channels of super-premium amplification that's stable down to 2 ohms - that's for ALL the parts, not just those two. I'm going to mount it on glass, which is about $30 a sheet for my application.
                            I am trolling you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Building a better Bel Canto

                              here is a beast for a transformer

                              http://www.antekinc.com/details.php?p=147 $155 this is 40 v 1500va version
                              32v
                              45v
                              50v
                              52v
                              below:
                              http://www.antekinc.com/gview.php?d[]=0

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